Yesterday was a bit busy in terms of non-horsey activities, so I didn`t get around to writing a post. I`m sorry.
My morning was spent riding and teaching, and then I went out for lunch with some friends before having an ice skating lesson from another friend. I don`t think I will ever understand a skaters fascination for going backwards, at speed!
Once home I had the job of designing my new book cover and then in an attempt to feel a bit more festive, despite the mild weather, it was time to decorate the tree. Of course afterwards I had to wrap a few presents so that it looked complete. And the larger parcels have the added bonus of stopping the cat climbing behind the tree!
Wrapping presents is a big puzzle to my family. A puzzle of economics. How many presents can you wrap from one roll of paper? Does changing the orientation of the box mean less paper is required? Is it worth cutting that slither off to wrap a small jewellery box sized present?
At home, my Dad takes things to a whole new level. Much to visitors` surprise, he will bring out his “second hand wrapping paper box”. Or third hand, or fourth hand… If you really dig deep you can find the thin paper that their wedding presents were wrapped in thirty five years ago!
Since I was a baby it has been drilled into me and my brother that presents aren`t ripped into, like a dog with a slipper, but rather carefully opened at the sellotape and then the present removed and the paper flattened and then folded ready for next year. It`s a Boxing Day tradition – folding up the paper. If any of the older paper has holes in, it`s not thrown away, but rather reduced in size so it can be used for a smaller present.
I`m not quite as bad as my Dad, but I still can`t bring myself to shred the paper as I open my presents, and if I think the paper is fine, then I`ll keep it for family presents. So if you get recycled paper from me, you should be honoured – you`ve reached family status!
When I was about eight, and on the verge of seeing through the Santa Claus façade, one of my stocking presents had written in the corner “To Robert, love Auntie Margaret”. There were two errors here. For one, I am not my brother, and for two, Auntie Margaret was no longer with us. So I questioned my Dad, to try and confirm my suspicions.
Quick as a flash, he replied with, “Well Father Christmas didn`t have time to wrap them so he brought them for me to wrap for you.”
Smooth Dad, real smooth.
It kept me quiet for another year anyway.
Back to the subject of recycling wrapping paper. Years ago, it was a common sense thing, after all newspapers were recycled and old clothes were used to patch newer clothes. It was a society that got the most out of it`s resources. Now, having new things is a sign of wealth and privilege, and we`ve become a society of waste. Younger siblings more often than not get new clothes, not the hand me downs. Wrapping paper is bought by the roll and presents are wrapped excessively, only for us to throw bin liners full of paper away on Boxing Day. So perhaps sensibly recycling wrapping paper is not just economic, it`s also eco-friendly?
Does anyone else have any family traditions that are joked about by others, but in actual fact are really rather sensible?